Art, Entertainment & Sports Intellectual Property Communications & Media

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The Designer Formerly Known As…Intellectual Property Issues Arising From Personal Names As Fashion Brands

Kate Spade, Paul Frank, Joseph Abboud, Catherine Malandrino, and Karen Millen—aside from being well-known designers, all have something else in common; they no longer own the right to use their personal names as their brands....more

Disparaging (or Maybe Not) Trademarks: The Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on In Re Tam

On January 18, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding whether the Lanham Act’s provision refusing federal trademark registration to disparaging marks is invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First...more

Sixth Circuit Drops the Beat: Social Media Relevant in Determining Likelihood of Confusion

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment, holding that the plaintiff provided insufficient evidence to find that relevant consumers were likely to confuse the sources of his and the...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: Copyright Preemption, Software-as-a-Service and Popularity on the Internet

Copyright Decisions - Claim for Copying of Useful Article Design Preempted by Copyright Act: Ultraflo Corp. v. Pelican Tank Parts, Inc., No. 15-20084 (5th Cir. Jan. 11, 2017)...more

The Yellow Pages Live On

Calling the district court’s action an “abuse of discretion,” the 11th Circuit reversed a decision that cut by more than 90 percent a successful copyright infringement plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees and costs. Yellow...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle III: The Year In NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Two years ago, I started worrying about what would happen if someone at a Super Bowl party asked me to explain an NFL-related lawsuit, particularly one of those intellectual property lawsuits that sports fans assume IP...more

Live Streaming: The Privacy Concerns of Behind-the-Scenes Access

A professional football team clinches their playoff spot in an upset game, then hits the locker room for a celebration and an inspirational pep talk from their winning coach. The perfect application for livestreaming, one...more

Does Louis Vuitton Lack A Sense Of Humor? The Parody Defense Is No Laughing Matter For Brand Owners

On December 22, 2016, the Second Circuit gave tote bag manufacturer My Other Bag an early Christmas present by tossing out luxury giant Louis Vuitton’s claims of trademark infringement, copyright infringement, and trademark...more

For the Time Being, Tech Companies Remain Shielded from Liability for Users’ Uploaded Content

Thanks to recent decisions by the First and Second Circuit Courts of Appeals, tech companies will remain protected from liability for some of their users’ uploaded content under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and...more

UK, US, HK and China – Access denied: an international perspective on ISP blocking injunctions

While the UK Court of Appeal has opened the door for broadband ISP blocking to combat trademark or copyright-infringing activities, the picture in the United States, China and Hong Kong is more complex. Please see full...more

Canadian IP law and practice in 2016: reviewing the highlights

As the calendar turns the page from 2016 to 2017, we take the opportunity to review Canadian IP law and practice highlights from the past year....more

It’s a Game Winning Shot but Far from a Slam Dunk: Michael Jordan Obtains Partial Victory in Chinese Courts over Use of His Name

In December 2016, China’s Supreme Court held that a Chinese manufacturer named Qiaodan Sports Company, could not continue to produce athletic shoes, clothing and gear bearing the trademark (see article), which is the Chinese...more

NY Common Law Does Not Provide Creators With Control Over Public Performances of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

On December 20, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court) issued a landmark state copyright law decision, holding in response to a certified question from the Second Circuit in Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius...more

Louis Vuitton Left Holding the Bag

In Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. My Other Bag, Inc., [16-241-cv] (December 22, 2016), the Second Circuit affirmed summary judgment for My Other Bag that its parody bag did not infringe or dilute Louis Vuitton’s trademark...more

Three Point Shot - December 2016

In Partial Trademark Victory over Chinese Sportswear Company, MJ Posterizes Unauthorized User of Chinese Version of His Name - In Game 3 of the first round of the 1991 NBA Eastern Conference playoffs between the New York...more

Supreme Court Corner - Q4 2016

CASES WE ARE WATCHING Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. - COPYRIGHT – Cert. Pending ISSUE: Whether, in sending a takedown notice under the DMCA, the copyright holder’s “good faith belief” of copyright infringement may be...more

Online Copyright Enforcement Gone Wrong – How To Get it Right

An elderly grandmother. A first-person shooter video game. The two typically have very little in common. Yet both were recently in the headlines of the national news. The story involved an email sent pursuant to Canada’s...more

Not Gone with the Wind: IP Rights Despite Public Domain Images

In 2006, Warner Bros. filed suit against A.V.E.L.A., X One X Productions, and ArtNostalgia.com, Inc. (collectively, “AVELA”) for copyright and trademark infringement under the Copyright Act, the Lanham Act, and state law....more

Celebrity Brands: The Line Between Fair Use and Infringement

All brand owners are faced with difficult decisions regarding how aggressively to police their brands. The decision is particularly difficult when the unauthorized use is by a loyal customer or fan. While some traditional...more

Michael Jordan’s Great Win in China—or Is It?

On December 8, 2016, Beijing time, the China Supreme People’s Court issued a public decision granting Michael Jordan a win in his four-year battle over the right to own his name in Chinese characters. But the win was not a...more

New DMCA Designated Agent Requirements Effective December 2016

On November 1, 2016, the United States Copyright Office published an amendment to 37 CFR § 201.38 that changes the registration requirements for Designated Agents under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Effective...more

New Requirements for Copyright Safe Harbor

The federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) provides safe harbors from copyright infringement liability for online service providers that are engaged in specified activities and that meet certain eligibility...more

Copyright Office Establishes New Electronic DMCA Agent Registration

Service Providers Must Re-register Online to Maintain Safe Harbor Protection - A service provider seeking to take advantage of certain of the safe harbors under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is required...more

Clothes Make the Man; They Sometimes Make the Trademark

Costumes and uniforms may be distinctive of a business, and thus may function as a trademark or service mark, identifying the business and distinguishing it from other business....more

Football Association Premier League Limited v Luxton [2016] EWCA Civ 1097

Sports rights holders and sports broadcasters will be reassured as a result of a recent Court of Appeal (“CoA”) decision, which prevented a pub owner in Swansea from using a foreign-purchased domestic decoder card to show...more

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